Saturday, January 31, 2009

B.F. Baldwin Bible

Benjamin Franklin Baldwin was an older brother to our ancestor, Francis Marion Baldwin. He was born in Illinois a couple years before the family moved to Texas in 1838. He lived in Limestone & Walker Counties in Texas. He married Maggie Mosely Guerrant on 18 Feb 1859. They had one son, Benjamin Franklin Baldwin, Jr.
B.F. Baldwin was sheriff of Walker county Texas the year before he died (1868-1869).

Below are copies of the B.F. Baldwin Bible pages I received in 1986 from a B.F. Baldwin descendant.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hats Off to the Cowboy

Since most of the family were cowboys, I would like to share with you a poem written by Red Steagall in 1989.

Hats Off to the Cowboy

The city folks think that it's over.
The cowboy has outlived his time--
An old worn-out relic, a thing of the past,
But the truth is, he's still in his prime.

The cowboy's the image of freedom,
The hard-ridin' boss of the range.
His trade is a fair one, he fights for what's right,
And his ethics aren't subject to change.
He still tips his hat to the ladies,
Let's you water first at the pond.
He believes a day's pay is worth a day's work,
And his handshake and word are his bond.

Group of Texas Cowboys

Related post:  My Favorite Cowboy

The above poem came from: Ride for the Brand, The poetry and songs of Red Steagall, by Red Steagall  'Cowboy Poet of the State of Texas', Bunkhouse Press, 1993. 

Cattle Drives and a Hymn Book

Lulling the cattle to sleep.
When Charles B. Wilson was still in his teens, he started working on cattle drives with his older brother, Billy Wilson.  Charles, or "B" as he was often called by others, would carry a small hymn book with him that had belonged to his mother.

Before Maymie died, she gave me her father's (Charles B. Wilson) hymn book. She said that her Dad Wilson carried the little hymn book with him when he was working as a cowboy or
drover on the cattle drives. The little hymn book had belonged to his mother, Mary "Polly" Huff Wilson.

The hymn book is 3" X 4-3/4" in size, so it was small enough to carry in a pocket. As you will see in the pictures below, the hymn book had been covered with red cloth that had some embroidery stitches on it (no particular pattern). The book is badly worn and soiled.
The title page is missing and most of the first page. I could make out the term"Gospel H***, No. 5, With Standard Sel***". After doing some research online, I found reference to "Gospel Hymns No. 5 With Standard Selections" by Sankey, McGranahan & Stebbin, John Church Co. 1887. (Copies can be readily found in online book stores.)

Front cover of Hymn Book

Inside Front Cover

Back cover of Hymn Book
The name "Mary" is written several times.
The only notation or writing in the book that seems original to the book is found on page 155. The name "Rosa" is written on the bottom of the page. Rose or Rosa was the daughter of Mary.

On the back pages of the book, written in Maymie's handwriting is the following:
"B carried this book in his pocket when on cattle drives in Texas"
"Dad Wilson's mother's book"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Terrible Tragedy

Kozette Perkett Stewart

One of the saddest stories I have run across while doing family history is that of Kozette Stewart. Kozette Perkett Stewart was the wife of Charles Leon Stewart. Charles was a 1st cousin to our grandpa, Jess Baldwin. It was during the depression and Grandma & Grandpa had moved from Oklahoma to Arizona and were living close to their Stewart relatives.

This story is pieced together from stories I heard from relatives and from the death certificate and obituary.
It was the fall of 1935. Charles & Kozette were newlyweds and were expecting their first child. They lived just outside Gilbert, Arizona, not far from Charles' parents. Kozette was just 19 years old and was about seven months pregnant. The family remembers Kozette as being a very beautiful and sweet person.
Kozette was getting ready to cook dinner and needed to start a fire in the wood stove. She used kerosene to start the fire. The stove exploded and Kozette was badly burned. Kozette and her unborn baby died a week later in the SouthSide Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.
The Mesa Journal Tribune of Friday November 22, 1935.

My aunt remembers Grandma Baldwin going to the hospital in Mesa to see Kozette. The whole family was just devastated. They all loved Kozette.

Kozette was born 27 Aug 1916 in Paden, Oklahoma and was the daughter of Fred Perkett and Katie Roby.
The death certificate states that Kozette was buried in Mesa. If anyone has a picture of her headstone or can find and take a picture of her headstone, please contact me. Thanks.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Who is this??

Who is this photo of?? 
Could it be our David Miller Leffel??

This photo, or half a photo, was given to me some years ago. I was told it was one of the old relatives on the Leffel family

As you can see, the photo had been torn in half. We are looking at the top half. The backside of the photo has writing on it, but I am not exactly sure what the given name is.

The surname, which is partially torn away, appears to be "Leffel".
The given name is a puzzle. It could be an abbreviation for David or Daniel -- Davd for David or Danl for Daniel.
David and Daniel Leffel were brothers, sons of Anthony Leffel.
Our direct ancestor was David Leffel (1816-1862). He left Ohio and moved to Texas in the 1850's. David met a premature death at the age of 46, when he was killed during the Civil War by a confederate mob in Gainesville, TX.
Daniel Leffel (1828-1889) lived all his life in Ohio.
I am not sure how a photo of Daniel would end up being kept and treasured enough by our family in the west to survive all the turmoil and moves they incurred. It makes more sense that the family would keep a picture of David.
Any ideas??
Does anyone have a picture of David Miller Leffel or Daniel Leffel, so that we could compare this picture to?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Uncle Gus Obituaries

Uncle Gus Wilson's Obituaries
(The above is a partial copy of the obituary found in the Dallas Morning News, below is a transcription of the complete obituary.)
Dallas Morning News, October 2, 1935, page 1
Log Cabin Farmer Who Gave Friends Fortune Dies at 91
Uncle Gus Wilson, Collin County Pioneer, Nearly Penniless at His Death Special to the News. McKinney, Texas, Oct. 1
A. M. (Uncle Gus) Wilson, 91, a farmer, who lived in a log cabin six miles northwest of McKinney but who gave away more than $750,000 to deserving Collin Countians, will be buried Wednesday in the little family cemetery plot which marks almost the last of his one-time vast land holdings.
Wilson, who had lived in the same house on the same tract of land since he moved to Collin County with his parents in 1849, died Monday night. His funeral--which he planned more than ten years ago, with his coffin and tombstone paid for--will be conducted by Elder R. C. Horn of the Christian Church, an octogenarian himself and a lifelong friend of the aged philanthropist.
The pioneer, who never married, made it a habit to buy automobiles and farms for anyone who caught his fancy with a kind or industrious act. Landholders returning from the field might find the deed or mortgage to their property hidden under the dinner plate; a newly-married couple might discover a fully-equipped new car in the garage of their new home.
To one boy, he gave $1,000 in stock because he did not look up from his cotton-hoeing job when Wilson passed.
His philanthropy was not confined to individuals. Time and again he would underwrite the salaries of teachers to keep schools from closing. He literally paid for many churches, irrespective of denomination.
Wilson, a native of Arkansas, (**note by clm-should be Tennessee) was taken to Collin County by his parents when he was 5. They built a log cabin which, with occasional remodeling and additions, served as his life-long home.
At times almost a recluse, in recent years the early settler had given Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Robinson his last farm on which his home is situated, on the provision that he might live with them for the rest of his life. He died virtually penniless, compared with his early wealth, which was made largely from real estate.
For years Wilson's only companion was his dog. When he animal died he erected a tombstone in its memory. Wilson, though he never dressed up, habitually retaining his man-of-the-soil clothing, was a world traveler and it was his boast he never missed a world's fair except the Chicago Century of Progress in 1933, when his enfeebled health forced him to remain at home.

Obituary from the The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Thursday, October 3, 1935;
McKinney Buries Man Who Gave Away Fortune to Deserving Poor
McKinney, Tex, Oct. 2.—AP—
Simply, Collin County buried its 91-year-old farmer-philanthropist today. In the coffin and under the tombstone he selected and paid for ten years ago rested A. M. (Uncle Gus) Wilson, distributor of an $800,000 fortune among deserving farm folk. Elder R. C. Horn, himself an octogenarian and a Christian minister for 60 years, said last rites for his old friend.
The same simplicity of Wilson’s life marked the funeral service. He was buried in the family plot, just a few paces from the log cabin in which he lived 86 years. The burial ground and home were remnants of a huge fortune, dissipated by philanthropic deeds. Uncle Gus erected churches, regardless of denomination; built schools and homes for teachers; underwrote teachers’ salaries when doors of the schoolhouse were threatened with closing because of lack of funds; gave youth a financial boost when the cause seemed worthy.
Natives recalled his many deeds of kindness. They remembered the day he walked along a lane, stopped to watch a farm boy hoeing cotton. The boy did not look up at Uncle Gus. He hoed down the row. Uncle Gus gave the lad $1000 in stocks because he worked—did not stop to talk. The wealthy landowner, who chose the dress of the farmer and lived the same life, held many mortgages, but it didn’t make much difference. A farm couple who toiled long each day to pay off a debt on their farm to Uncle Gus, lifted their supper plates one night and found the heavy balance marked “paid in full.”
He took a group of Boy Scouts on an extended trip across the continent; had new automobiles waiting in the garages of newly-married couples when they returned from honeymoons and gave rich farming land to men of the soil who struck him as being industrious and appreciative. Uncle Gus never missed a world’s fair until the Chicago century of progress. Ill health kept him away.
He was unmarried and lived alone with a faithful dog who died a few years ago. He buried the dog on his grounds and erected a handsome tombstone. He lies within a few paces of his dog.

Read more about Uncle Gus:
Uncle Gus - Santa Claus
Joe and I Are Going Home